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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/yosoynuts
Gnocchi with shaved truffles at Graffiato
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Graffiato opened in Chinatown in 2011 as tattooed Top Chef Mike Isabella’s debut venture. Even though the spot has been up and running for four years now, and even though Isabella has gone on to open other hot spots in and around the District, the small plates at Graffiato still pack a punch and draw huge crowds. Order a local brew or a draft Prosecco, and then try the Jersey Shore pizza—wood-fired dough teeming with crispy calamari, tomato, provolone, and a chili-flake sauce—and you’ll understand why. The salty-crispy-sweet notes in the maple-charred Brussels sprouts will play with your taste buds, as will the tender gnocchi arranged with braised pork and drizzled with a creamy burrata sauce. The charred octopus is not to be missed, nor is the bone marrow—house-made breadcrumbs, bacon, and seasonings baked into a trough of split bone. Graffiato may be Isabella’s first child, but it could easily still be our favorite.

Venue name: Graffiato
Address: 707 6th Street, NW
Washington, DC

Opening hours: 11:30am-11pm Mon–Wed, Sun; 11.30am–midnight Thur–Sat
Transport: Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro
Price: Main courses $13-$18
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